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East Bay no-hitter highlights 5A-11

Durant and East Bay won quarterfinal games Tuesday and will meet at 5 p.m. Thursday in the semifinals of the Class 5A, District 11 tournament.

After receiving a bye, top-seeded Plant faces Armwood at 7 p.m. in the second semifinal. The winners meet Friday at 7:30.

Durant spotted Lakeland a run in the top of the second, then came back with a scoring barrage in the bottom to take a 4-1 lead on three hits and an error. The score held up for the victory.

The Indians defeated Jefferson 13-0 in a five-inning no-hitter.

Jessica Ortiz, Jessica Levengood and Jessica Gongola had the Cougar hits in the second and three of the four runs.

"Our girls came out kinda sluggish today, but they played well enough to win," Durant coach Billy Riley said. "And at this point, I am just glad to be here."

East Bay scored two runs in each of the first two innings, six in the third and three in the fourth.

Indians coach Glenn Rodriguez cleared his bench and three pitchers, Mandy Schuerman, Desirae Stratton and Staci Miltner shared the no-hitter.

Schuerman (8-2) started to record the win and Deanna Herrera (0-1) had the loss.

Casey Appleby and Lindsey McCaw came off the bench to get the big hits for the Indians.

Appleby banged out a two-run homer to right and McCaw hit a triple to the left corner and scored on a passed ball.

"I am glad to have had the opportunity to play everyone in the districts," Rodriguez said. "We have a very tough game Thursday with Durant in the semis. Durant is a very good team."

4A-12: Wharton in final,

will meet Palm Harbor U.

TAMPA _ The Wharton Wildcats are one victory away from earning the school's first district title in any sport.

Wharton used a two-run eighth-inning single by April Valdez to defeat the Robinson Knights 7-5 in the Class 4A, District 12 semifinals.

Host Wharton (7-12) meets Palm Harbor University in Thursday night's championship game. PHU (20-7) defeated Osceola 11-0 on Mary Goldman's five-inning no-hitter.

"We are really excited," said Wharton coach Julie Unger, whose team is assured of a region quarterfinal game, regardless of Thursday's outcome. "April (Valdez) really came through in the clutch. She has that ability and she delivered when we really needed it."

Lynda Valdez led off the eighth with a double, then went to third on Stacy Birr's single. Robinson pitcher Lysette Bigness sandwiched strikeouts around a bases-filling walk to Tara Von Pusch. April Valdez followed with her two-out game-winner.

"We might not have a winning record and we lost to Robinson twice during the regular season, but what really counts is how you play late in the season," Unger said. "And right now, we're peaking."

Wharton raced to a 4-2 lead with a three-run third inning, including RBI singles by Candace Duci, Lynda Valdez and Birr. Then Robinson answered with three runs in the fifth, taking a 5-4 lead on Brianna Jackson's RBI triple.

Wharton tied it in the sixth. Von Pusch doubled, stole third and scored on an infield out. Duci, the Wharton pitcher, settled down after the fifth and retired nine of the final 10 Robinson batters.

_ JOEY JOHNSTON

2A-10: Eagles win 13-3,

earn title game berth

TAMPA _ Paced by a seven-run third, Temple Heights defeated Northside Christian 13-3 in five innings to move on to Friday's district championship against Tampa Prep.

Making just her second appearance of the year, Eagles pitcher Katie Timpone (2-0), a seventh-grader, held the Mustangs (10-11) in check while the offense poured it on.

"I don't think she really knows how much pressure there is," said Eagles coach Angela Nelson. With Temple Heights' primary pitcher, Erin Holbin, still questionable for Friday's game, Timpone may get the call again.

Northside's Kiri Hooper (0-1) was plagued with control problems throughout the game, particularly in the third. She walked six as Temple Heights (9-9) sent 12 batters to the plate.

The Eagles then scored four runs in the fourth, and ended the game in the fifth when T.J. Johnson knocked in Amanda Flynn with a one-out single.

_ ERIC RANGUS

Elsewhere

BLOOMINGDALE 1, PLANT CITY 1: In 6A-6 at Bradenton, Bloomingdale's Dori Carson broke a tie with a sixth-inning run-scoring double for the Bulls.

Abby Bowersox drove in Bloomingdale's first run with a double. Natalie Deckert (8-4) pitched a four-hitter for the Bulls, last season's 6A state runners-up. Bloomingdale (14-10) faces Sarasota Riverview in today's semifinals, while Brandon meets Bradenton Manatee.

"We've struggled at times this season," Bloomingdale coach Mike Clamon said. "But I told our players this is a new season. We have the ability to keep winning."

SICKLES 8, RIVER RIDGE 6: In 5A-8 at Land O'Lakes, River Ridge rallied for two runs to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh inning but Sickles came back with two in the top of the eighth to beat the Royal Knights.

"This is a team that will fight it out until the end," Sickles coach Tammy Overcash said. "We can have two outs and score 10 runs. They rise to the occasion."

There were two out in the eighth before Sickles, which plays Land O'Lakes today at 7 p.m., scored the winning runs. Leah Hussey singled and scored on Soraya Reddick's second triple of the game. Reddick scored as Elisa Haintz intentionally got hung up in a rundown between first and second.

Andrea Springer gave up 13 hits, but only four over the last five innings for a complete-game win.

_ JOEY JOHNSTON, JOHN C. COTEY

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